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Image by campoalto. Tracking Crises on Twitter: Analysing # qldfloods and # eqnz. Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, Australia a.bruns@qut.edu.au / @ snurb_dot_info

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tracking crises on twitter analysing qldfloods and eqnz

Image by campoalto

Tracking Crises on Twitter: Analysing #qldfloods and #eqnz
  • Assoc. Prof. Axel BrunsARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and InnovationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbane, Australia
  • a.bruns@qut.edu.au / @snurb_dot_info
  • http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
social media during emergencies
Social Media during Emergencies
  • Changing media ecologies:
    • Social media as part of everyday media use
    • Various platforms:
      • Facebook, Twitter, blogs – updates and information
      • YouTube, Flickr, Twitpic – first-hand video and photos
      • Google Maps, Ushahidi – map-based information mashups
      • Different tools for different purposes
  • Various levels of maturity:
    • Uses and use practices still developing
    • Different demographic reach
  • Technological differences:
    • e.g. Facebook: built around personal networks; semi-private; discussion threads
    • e.g. Twitter: open, flat network; public #hashtag conversations; update stream
twitter and the queensland floods qldfloods tweets
Twitter and the Queensland Floods: #qldfloods tweets

10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011

local focus qldfloods from toowoomba to brisbane
Local Focus: #qldfloods from Toowoomba to Brisbane

10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011

  • Toowoomba vs. Lockyer/Grantham vs. Ipswich vs. Brisbane slide
twitter and the queensland floods qldfloods posters
Twitter and the Queensland Floods: #qldfloods posters

retweet feeds

mainstream media

Qld Police

qldfloods network map most active accounts only degree 15 node size indegree node colour outdegree
#qldfloods Network Map – Most Active Accounts Only(Degree >= 15 / Node size: indegree / node colour: outdegree)
twitter and the queensland floods
Twitter and the Queensland Floods
  • First lessons:
    • #qldfloods as coordinating tool – one central hashtag
      • Go where the users are – and help establish hashtag
      • Plus inventive additions – e.g. @QPSmedia #Mythbuster tweets
    • Most activity by individuals – but key official accounts cut through
      • Enable easy retweeting and sharing of messages
      • Respond and engage
    • Mainstream media are important in social media environments, too
      • Twitter as an amplifier of key messages
    • Twitter vs. Facebook – which works when?
twitter and the christchurch earthquake eqnz
Twitter and the Christchurch Earthquake: #eqnz

22/2 23 24 25 26 27 28 1/3 2 3 4 5 6 7

twitter and the christchurch earthquake eqnz @replies1
Twitter and the Christchurch Earthquake: #eqnz @replies
  • Changing @reply patterns with the move from rescue to recovery:
twitter and the christchurch earthquake
Twitter and the Christchurch Earthquake
  • Towards better strategies for social media in disasters:
    • February 2011 earthquake building on lessons learnt in September 2010
      • #eqnz and key Twitter accounts already established
      • Several key accounts sharing the load and dividing responsibilities
    • More experienced use of Twitter by residents and authorities
  • Clear shift in attention after the immediate rescue phase:
    • Marked differences in list of most @replied/retweeted accounts
    • Some tracking of current problems / issues / fears may be possible
    • Decline in overall tweet volume / diversification of #hashtags?
background researching twitter
Background: Researching Twitter
  • #hashtag studies:
    • Selected #hashtags captured from the Twitter API using yourTwapperkeeper
    • Data processing using custom-made tools – keyword and network analysis
    • Statistic and network visualisations – including dynamic visualisations
  • Broader research:
    • #hashtags are limited – much additional activity outside #hashtags
    • How do #hashtags emerge, how do users encounter and choose them?
    • How much does Twitter use during crises differ from everyday usage?
  • Mapping Online Publics:
    • ARC Discovery project, 2010-12: Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns and Dr. Jean Burgess, QUT
    • Methodology and outcomes: http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
    • Further projects on social media and crisis communication under development please get in touch!